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Firing Line: William F. Buckley- The Role of Government in The Economy

December 13, 2011

Firing Line

Source: This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus: Firing Line: William F. Buckley- The Role of Government in The Economy

This is the perfect debate to be having today in 2011 going into 2012 when we have a fragile economy with another general election coming up. As it was a perfect debate to have in 1992, when the economy was struggling to get through a recession. What should government’s role in the economy be. You talk to Conservatives or Libertarians they would tell you not much. That government especially the Federal Government, already plays too much of a role in the economy. With all the taxes it collects, money it spends and regulations it imposes.

So-called Progressives on the opposite end of the political spectrum, will tell you the reason why we have a weak economy, is because the Federal Government doesn’t tax and spend enough. Or impose enough regulations that if it just did more of these things and we became more like Europe with the Federal Government doing more to create economic and gob growth. By spending money and building things, creating new Federal programs that hire people to build things. More government works projects. Like a Public Works Administration or a Job Core and other Federal programs.

That the Federal Government should play a much larger role in economic and job growth and put people back to work. Liberals such as myself want to see a combination of things, but nothing that restricts individual liberty. Like new taxes or restrictive regulations, but with things like tax cuts to encourage consumer spending. To drive up new consumer demand, infrastructure investment to put more people to work and expanding foreign trade.

This debate has been going on for at least thirty years actually back to the 1930s or longer during the New Deal. What should The role of government especially in the economy and what should the role of the Federal Government be as well. Should it be doing less or more, do we tax and spend too much or not enough. Do we regulate too much or not enough basically. How should we reform the Federal Government or not. Or should be cut back the Federal Government and pass more power down to the states and private sector.

I believe the best way to make the Federal Government better and more efficient, is by reforming it. Figuring out what exactly it should do by what’s laid out for it in the U.S. Constitution. And what should it be doing based on the U.S. Constitution and what it can only do. And what it does better than state government’s and the private sector and then go from there. And to me that gets to defend, protect, represent and regulate. Cut back in the areas of the Federal Government shouldn’t be doing at all that any government shouldn’t be doing.

And give more authority to the states and private sector in the services where there’s a clear need. But could be run better than the Federal Government. Slash and burn doesn’t take care of the problems it just passes them on. This is a debate that’s been going on forever and will never be solved probably unless some type of consensus or compromise is reached. And is a debate that’s important and that we should have especially in election years to figure as a country which direction we should be going in.

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